Autophagy extends lifespan via vacuolar acidification

Publication from Health

Christoph Ruckenstuhl, Christine Netzberger, Iryna Entfellner, Didac Carmona-Gutierrez, Thomas Kickenweiz, Slaven Stekovic, Christina Gleixner, Christian Schmid, Lisa Klug, Ivan Hajnal, Alice G. Sorgo, Tobias Eisenberg, Sabrina Büttner, Guillermo Marin?o, Rafal Koziel, Christoph Magnes, Frank Sinner, Thomas R. Pieber, Pidder Jansen-Dürr, Kai-Uwe Fröhlich, Guido Kroemer and Frank Madeo

Microbial Cell, Vol. 1, No. 5, pp. 160 - 162 DOI: 10.15698/mic2014.05.147, 5/2014


Methionine restriction (MetR) is one of the rare regimes that prolongs lifespan across species barriers. Using a yeast model, we recently demonstrated that this lifespan extension is promoted by autophagy, which in turn requires vacuolar acidification. Our study is the first to place autophagy as one of the major players required for MetR-mediated longevity. In addition, our work identifies vacuolar acidification as a key downstream element of autophagy induction under MetR, and possibly after rapamycin treatment. Unlike other amino acids, methionine plays pleiotropic roles in many metabolism-relevant pathways. For instance, methionine (i) is the N-terminal amino acid of every newly translated protein; (ii) acts as the central donor of methyl groups through S-adenosyl methionine (SAM) during methylation reactions of proteins, DNA or RNA; and (iii) provides the sulfhydryl groups for FeS-cluster formation and redox detoxification via transsulfuration to cysteine. Intriguingly, MetR causes lifespan extension, both in yeast and in rodents. We could show that in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, chronological lifespan (CLS) is increased in two specific methionine-auxotrophic strains (namely ?met2 and ?met15).

Keywords: autophagy, methionine restriction, longevity, chr onological lifespan, dietary restriction, vacuole, lysosome, acidification